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Practical instruction about charity of the students in the hereafter
105,1. You know that nowhere is anything to be done with merely theoretical knowledge and belief. What good is it for someone to plague his head with a thousand theories? What good is it for somebody if he considers everything to be true, what is written in the book of life? All this benefits one just as if someone had literally appropriated all musical theories and had also come to the conclusion that, if he were to make use of theories in practice, he would seriously produce the most eminent compositions, or at least become a virtuoso on one or the other instrument. Question: Will he be able to compose any piece of some value by any of these fundamental theoretic skills without the least practical skill? Or will he be able to either sing only the least part of a composition par excellence or perform it on a musical instrument? Certainly not, because without practical exercises, no theory is of any use.
105,2. It is the same as if there were some foolish father who, while caring for his child and training his mind, yet always keep his feet bound together. Question: Will the child be able to walk, even though he saw others do it and would have learned all feet and foot movements theoretically from a Spanish dance master? The first step he would dare will turn out to be so uncertain, that this only theoretically educated child will immediately lie on the ground.
105,3. It is thus more than clear that knowledge only, without practice, is useless! For it is a burning chandelier in an empty hall, the light which burns on its own and benefits no one. Accordingly, the actual exercise of what one has recognized and knows is infallibly the main focus. Since action in the realm of the purest spirits is always a matter of action, and the activity of charity is the chief principle of all spiritual activity, this commandment of charity here is taught more practically than theoretically.
105,4. But how? These, as you see, grown-up students are taken with on all sorts of missions by the more accomplished spirits, and especially the newcomers from the earth must learn to distinguish the true neighbor, the less neighbor, and then the far-off. They must recognize how they have to behave towards their neighbors, their neighbors and the distant ones.
105,5. As you know, the sense of pity of the youth is greater than that of the fixed manhood. Therefore it also happens that these disciples receive everything they encounter with great sympathy and compassion.
105,6. They immediately want to push everybody into heaven, because they do not yet know from experience that heaven grants only blessedness to the closest neighbors, but that the lesser neighbors and far-off ones are a greater, even the greatest trouble. On these occasions, they first fully realize how true charity consists in giving each being his freedom and grant him his own love.
105,7. For if you want to do something to someone other than what his love requires, you have not shown him any love service. If one asks his neighbor for a robe, and the neighbor gives him a loaf of bread instead, will the petitioner be satisfied with that? Certainly not, because he only asked for the robe, but not for the bread.
105,8. If someone goes into a house and asks for a bride and they give him a basket of salt instead of the bride, will he be satisfied with that? And if somebody wants to make his way to a place to the north where he has a business, but a friend has his wagon harnessed, take the businessman who wants to go north, and drive south with him, he will be helped?
105,9. Therefore, before they can bring their charity into practical use, the spirits must first learn to exactly discern the love of the spirits being brought on their way. When they have discerned this love, so also must be acted according to this love.
105,10. He who wants to go to hell must have his escort there, for so is his love, without which there is no life for him. And whoever wants to go to heaven must be given the guidance that, purified in the righteous ways, he can then reach heaven fully qualified and there he can exist as a truly sanctified citizen.
105,11. But it is not enough to bring all spirits into one and the same heaven, but heaven must correspond to the love of the spirit to the atom, for every other heaven will not be tolerated by a heavenly citizen, and he will suffer in it, like a fish in the air.
105,12. For every man's love is the life element peculiar to him. If he does not find this, his life will soon be over. Therefore, charity in the realm of pure spirits must be thoroughly and properly purified and formedbefore these spirits are truly able to receive the newcomers, as well as to bring those who have long been in the spiritual realm, into the truly blissful and living order of God.
105,13. The education and purification of this charity is therefore to explore and to recognize the mode of love in the spirits, and then to recognize and understand the ways and how these spirits are to be led into the Divine order.
105,14. No spirit may ever be violated. His free will, together with his knowledge, determines the way, and the love of the spirit determines the style and manner in which he is to be guided.
105,15. When the spirits first arrive at the place of their congenial love and behave malevolently there, then it is time to interfere - but again only according to the nature of their wickedness.
105,16. And see, in everything concerning charity, our students are taught in the most practical way. Once they have acquired a skill, they receive the ordination of perfection. They are then, for a fixed period of time, given to the people living on the earth as guardian spirits, mostly for the purpose of practicing the true patience of the Lord on this foundation. You would scarcely believe how difficult it is for such a heavenly spirit to be so condescending with the stubborn people of this earth, that they never realize that they are accompanied by such a guardianship in every way and are guided according to their love.
105,17. Indeed, it is no trivial matter, if one is equipped with all might and power and may not call fire from heaven as a beginner, but must constantly watch, being conscious of his power and might, how the person entrusted to him, is engaged in all sorts of filth of the world, forgetting the Lord more and more.
105,18. A most mischievous, utterly naughty little girl is like the highest heaven compared to the task of a guardian spirit at the beginning of his mission. How many tears must they shed, for the extent of their influence may exist only in the softest whisper into the conscience, or at most on extraordinary occasions, the prevention of certain calamities inflicted by hell upon the earthly mortals. In everything else, they may not interfere.
105,19. But just imagine for a bit the often bitter lot of a so-called tutor or teacher, if he gets quite rough and playful children to educate. Is not job of a woodcutter better? Sure, because the wood can be felled and split according to the will of the woodcutter, but the rude child mocks the will of his master. But this condition is barely a shadow against that of a guardian spirit whose person is either a miser, a thief, a robber, a murderer, a gambler, a whore, and an adulterer. The guardian spirit must always passively observe such atrocities and must not counteract with all his might in the least anticipatory manner. And if anticipation is permitted on some occasions, it must nevertheless be so cleverly applied that the protégé is not in the slightest hindered in the sphere of freedom of his will, but at most only in the actual execution of it.
105,20. See, this is the second practical business in which our holy students must practice in charity, and especially in the patience of the Lord. But what happens to them after this exercise in patience, will be shown next.
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